Tony Award nominee Diana van der Vlis, who earned her nomination playing a young heiress in The Happiest Millionaire in 1956-57, died Oct. 22, in a Missoula, MT, hospital, The New York Times reported.
In the 1956-57 season, Ms. van der Vlis, fresh from Canada, played Cordelia Biddle in the Broadway comedy about the rich Biddle family of Philadelphia. She got a Tony nom for Best Supporting Actress in The Happiest Millionaire, but lost to Peggy Cass of Auntie Mame. She was 66 when she died, and leaves behind theatre and film roles, husband Roger T. Donald, and two children.
The Toronto-born actress studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and then in New York with Sanford Meisner.
Her theatre debut was in 1950 as June Stanley in the Winnepeg Little Theatre production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, and her professional bow was in Hay Fever at the Crest Theatre in Toronto in 1955. At the Crest, she landed choice role in Othello, You Never Can Tell, The School for Scandal, Arms and the Man and An Inspector Calls.
She would later join the cast of Broadway's Visit to a Small Planet, and tour with it. Other Broadway productions include Comes a Day, A Mighty Man is He, A Shot in the Dark and On an Open Roof. Work in TV series followed, including continuing roles on "Ryan's Hope" and "Where the Heart Is," and she played a doctor in the Roger Corman film, "X — The Man With the X Ray Eyes."
— By Kenneth Jones